A recent study by Nielsen says that Latinos are adopting and using smartphones at rates higher than any other ethnic or racial group. As revealed in the latest Digital Consumer Report, even as Americans generally shift toward greater smartphone use, Hispanics in particular spend more time on mobile devices than the average person. According to the report, “Latinos adopt smartphones at a higher rate than any other demographic group and watch more hours of videos online and on their mobile phones than the average American.”
Nearly two-thirds of all Latinos over the age of 18 own a smartphone, and almost half say they plan to upgrade their smartphones within the next six months.
These results echo findings from a study conducted last April by McLaughlin & Associates and Penn Schoen Berland that noted 94% of Hispanics view their wireless service as essential. The same study also revealed that roughly half of all Hispanics surveyed believe that having a wireless phone is considerably more important than other devices or services, including broadband Internet in the home, cable/satellite television or landline phones.
Given the importance of wireless to Latinos, the continued affordability of mobile products and services is a key concern, and the tax burden associated with wireless use is a top priority. 96% of Latinos believe that the taxes and fees they pay on their services should be the same or lower than the taxes they pay on general goods and services. Likewise, 78% believe that Congress should pass the Wireless Tax Fairness Act, according to the McLaughlin study. Similarly, the Internet Tax Freedom Act would prevent the expiration of the current moratorium on taxing Internet access.
Several members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, including Representatives Xavier Becerra, Joaquin Castro, Grace Napolitano, Ruben Hinosa, Linda Sanchez, Nydia Velazquez and Senator Bob Menendez, among others, are in agreement that passage of the Wireless Tax Fairness Act and Internet Tax Freedom Act are critical to advancing the continued growth and opportunities created by wireless technologies and services.